Quad Cities, IL/IA

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Don’t Be Afraid of Growing Older Do It With Moxie!


By Karen McCoy, Marketing Consultant, Ridgecrest Village

With another year having gone by and just celebrating another birthday, I had a thought. How do people age gracefully? I see it happening every day at Ridgecrest. Then I asked myself, what does that really mean, “age gracefully?”

Is it accepting growing older with a cheerful attitude and embracing the changes that come with it? Or, is it trying to stay as youthful as possible? Staying fit physically and staying sharp mentally? Perhaps it is as simple as feeling good and staying as healthy as possible?
Ron Barth, president and CEO of LeadingAge PA says “it is being as healthy and active for as long as possible, even when your health is in decline.”

At Ridgecrest, we offer many opportunities to do just that. Our activities give you a chance to be healthy, active, and socialize as much as you would like.

Here are a few ideas that may help you “age gracefully”:
Get an early start:
Taking care of yourself before you’re in need of help. Don’t count on your health to always be excellent. See your doctor regularly to be sure you stay on top of any problems.

Stay physically active: Some form of physical exercise is better than none. People that exercise regularly feel better almost immediately. It’s never too late to begin.

Keep your mind active: Do puzzles, read, and do needlework. Your brain needs as much exercise as your body.

Eat right: Good nutrition is so important. A poor diet can lead to many health problems.

Be proactive: Plan for the future. Ask yourself, “where will I be in 10 years? What do I want to be doing?” When you reach retirement age, if you have not planned, you may find yourself asking, “what next?” Think back, what were some of the things you wanted to accomplish or enjoyed when you were younger but didn’t do? “Where do I want to live? What is going to be important to me in my later years?” If you can’t imagine these things for yourself, think of a friend or relative that is older than you. What are they doing or what did they do with their later years? This might get your motor started to start planning. Ask yourself, “Do I want to be strapped to taking care of my house, or do I want to be enjoying a social life?” Think about what you need to do to make your life enjoyable, carefree, and fulfilling. Will it be volunteering and enjoying the company of others, or will it be housework and running to the doctor? Once you make the decision to plan, the process will be easier to start.

Get involved: Stay active in your community, volunteer. Take some classes. So what if most of the students are younger, you are wiser! Locally, we are fortunate to have our schools offer many opportunities for classes that fit any age.

Anticipate your health-care needs:
Plan, plan, plan. Know what you are going to do if something happens to you or your loved one. It is much easier to take care of an emergency situation if you have planned. Remember the attitude that “it won’t happen to me” really isn’t much to count on. Planning is key to being in control and making smart decisions. If these decisions have been determined ahead of time, it is easier when you find yourself in a crisis.

Maintain a positive attitude: Remember, “today is the first day of the rest of your life.” Begin every day with a smile and a determination that you are going to make the best of this day. Do it one day at a time. Soon that positive attitude will be second nature to you. Most of all, try to be yourself at any age, don’t be in denial about it.

Don’t fight getting older: The only way to live a longer life is to get older. If you ignore your age and consider it just a number, birthdays can be just birthday cake and a social gathering. When you have your future plans in place and know where you are going and what you are doing, that saying “aging gracefully” may come easier to you.

At Ridgecrest, there are shining examples of people enjoying life, celebrating birthdays with joy and friendship; people embracing their age and doing what makes them happy. They go about every day with a robust, determined attitude to make the most of each and every day. We offer our residents opportunity to take control of their life with a sense of contentment and a sense of knowing that things are taken care of no matter what lies ahead of them. Now that I have given it thought, I can see it is possible to “age gracefully.” We do it at Ridgecrest all of the time.

Call Karen or Mary at 563-391-3430 for lunch and a tour. We enjoy company.